From tomorrow (Friday), anyone over the age of 18 who lives or works in Bedford Borough will be able to get a free rapid Covid-19 (coronavirus) test twice a week.
The aim is to break the chain of transmission, as one in three people who test positive for Covid-19 show no symptoms and could be transmitting the virus unknowingly.
Anyone who tests positive will be able to self-isolate.
Rapid tests are quick and easy to do and the accuracy of the test improves with practice and training. Anyone who collects their home testing kits from the John Bunyan Centre is encouraged to do a supervised rapid test to make sure they are familiar with how it works.
How to get your tests
Anyone over 18 can get rapid testing kits either through their employer, from some local pharmacies and by ordering them online for home delivery.
A pack of seven home testing kits can also be collected from the testing sites at the John Bunyan Centre (weekdays 7am to 12noon and 1pm to 7pm), Polhill Avenue and Prebend Street (every day from 2.30pm to 8pm).
Anyone who completes a home testing kit must register their results by going online or calling 119.
If the result is positive, you must self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test.
A Borough Council Spokesperson said: “As restrictions are lifted and we start to think about getting back to the new normal, rapid ‘no symptom’ testing will become an important part of our lives and help us to identify cases that would otherwise go undetected.
“We would urge everybody in Bedford Borough to begin using the rapid tests twice a week and take part in a supervised rapid test, which is available at the John Bunyan Centre.”
While offering a number of benefits, rapid testing does not detect 100% of infectious cases and so it is still important to follow the ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air’ advice, even if you test negative.
Rapid testing is available for people who are not showing symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone with symptoms including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss in their sense of taste or smell should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test